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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

THE FRIENDLY WAITRESS



On my two-top young lovers gaze

at each other and talk, plan, share

her linguini, his prime rib. He butters

her bread and she murmurs, purrs.

Businessmen on per diems

pay for crass stares at my legs,

chest, hips with twenty percent tips.

Our king, the chef, rules his steamy

realm with steely eyes, paces his rum.

Later he'll grow moist, maudlin, desperate.

The sous chef flirts, quips, chops and slices.

From behind the pastries, the old Greek

grumbles at the girls who pick up

meringues, tarts, and layer cakes.

The dishwashers talk broken-English

trash as they scrape plates-

not the paper-pale junkie.

His silence is frantic.

I hoist my tray with six covered dishes.

Never mind my bad back, no time.

At the big table a toddler's made

an apple-sauce mess. His cool,

spotless, mother requires my help.

Two more years and I'll be a nurse.

With a gracious smile, I'll dispense

pain pills a half-hour late.